Reprinted from WHAT’S GOING ON? #101 January 2003
ALONG THE WAY:
I live at peace with all Life.
THIS MONTH’S THOUGHT:
Feeling sorry for ourselves and telling others our story keeps us in our suffering.
PEACE OF MIND:
(Excerpts from a talk by Dr. Bob Gibson– Newport Beach 8/80)
The subject tonight is PEACE OF MIND. I heard a lot of it going on around the place, so I decided we’d talk about it a bit.
I’ve heard by various writers and speakers that said, “Peace of mind was the greatest thing any human could have.” We’re going to talk about that kind of mind wherein there is no hassle going on inside of it. I think those are rather rare. We will see if we could find a means where everybody could leave tonight with peace of mind. Now there’s a requirement or two possibly before that could happen. But we’ll see if that could be accomplished.
The first requirement would be that the person didn’t make anything important. Now that isn’t a great thing because there really isn’t anything important. There’s a lot of interesting things in this world, a lot of delightful things, but I haven’t seen that there are very many important things floating around. Now you can make almost anything important. We could make having the bills paid this month important. We could make making a lot of money this month important. We could make having our checks not bounce important. Of course you can make almost anything important. But if we make anything important, they really aren’t unless we make them, then we’re anxious. Now anxious is not peace of mind. Another way of saying it is when I say, “I’m free to experience whatever is going on here today and I’m free to choose how I will act upon it. I don’t have to make it fit any ideal. But the situation is here, whatever it may be. Whether I like it or don’t like it, I’m going to experience it. I might as well do it gracefully, therefore freely. I’m going to experience it anyway. No use getting all upset about it. So if we’re free to experience it, we could also be free to see what I want to do about it. Now I don’t think anything I would do about it would make it into an ideal. I can dream up some fancy ideals. Can anybody here dream up how things ought to be real easy? You can dream up how it ought to be, but that doesn’t make it factual. The fact is that everything we deal with is ‘what is’. That is what is already here. We can choose how we are going to respond or whether we are just going to ignore it. A lot of things I find you might as well ignore. They’ll be gone tomorrow, anyway. What is there that we really need to resist? It’s going to be here, anyway. So I’m free—free to experience or sense what is. If we’re free to do it, there is no anxiety. Now that we can discover about ourselves. I discover that I am free to experience whatever is at this moment and then I am free to choose any response I want to—any or no response, knowing full well the response won’t make the ideal that I could dream up about.
Now if we had those two things you would find that you have peace of mind: You’re free to experience whatever may arise in your way today and you’re free to choose your response. We can totally have peace of mind, which supposedly the greatest thing the human can ever have. When you have that you can accomplish almost anything, do almost anything that comes along. You’re free to really function. Now, as long you have anxieties and you’re worried and you’re fretful and you’re sad you have a great limitation on what you can do. There are all kinds of things you can’t quite make work. But if you’re perfectly free to handle it and you have peace of mind, there isn’t anything comes along you can’t do something about. The sense of accomplishment then comes very real when there is peace of mind. When there is not, there is a sense of frustration most often. One is frustrated in about everything one tries to do because one is anxious, one is wishing things were different than they were, one is making it absolutely necessary that situations be different than they really are. The fact is that the only thing we can actually deal with is the actual fact of the moment. So whatever this moment is, you can do it. So when we have peace of mind, then comes what people sometimes tell me they want to be creative or they want to have a sense of accomplishment. They want to have various and sundry things that would supposedly give us peace of mind. If you ever stop to think why you want things? Basically there is a belief if you had whatever thing it is, it would make you feel good. But if we don’t have peace of mind, that good feeling is going to last a very short length of time.
You’re free to experience whatever is. Now, there is no great will power or any other conflict that could make ourselves free to experience. That is something you discover—that you are doing it anyway. You are experiencing what is every moment–whatever the weather is, how anyone is treating you, whatever is going on—you are experiencing it. It seems to me we could do it just as freely as we could do it with all the resistance we put up to it.
You’re already experiencing what is, no matter how we resist it, how much we cry about it, how much we object to it, you’re still experiencing it. Why put all the big effort to fight about it in it? You might as well do it totally freely.
Could you have peace of mind right now? I maintain that you can. I have been experimenting with it and I have found that it can always be there. That you can be totally peaceful regardless of what circumstances may be going on. Peace of mind can be permanent. You can have it every day of the week, year in and year out. It is a much more reasonable way of functioning than it is with all these tremendous havocs, anxieties, turmoils and struggles that most people go through with practically daily. Most people have a lot of worries.
Peace of mind, which is considered the greatest boon of mankind, is totally, easily available right now.
Misery can be a habit. You can start a new habit. You can start a new one of being peaceful all the time.
Sitting in my favorite chair and looking at the Lake, I noticed the leaves dropping from the beautiful tree that shades the deck. Winter is here and it is time for the tree to enter a resting period.
Hmmmm…a tree needs time to rest? I hadn’t thought of trees needing a break from a vigorous growing season. I looked around me. All nature seemed to have a cycle of growth, then a cycle of rest. The bears make the most of this.
I go through periods where I am behind the power curve. Any activity seems overwhelming. A trip to the grocery story or cooking a meal takes tremendous effort. When I am in this state I know it is something I am doing wrong, because I’m an experienced and skillful Donna ‘basher’. I first check out the diet. Am I giving the body the nourishment it needs to function smoothly? Then I check out exercise. Am I moving every muscle at least once a day? The environment is good. Nothing unusual there. The inner state. There’s always work to do there. I use the tools of the Teachings. For instance—I make a heroic effort to act myself into right feeling.
When the four aspects of health are as close to optimum as I can make them, I end up blaming the aging process, which means this condition of inertia is not going to get any better, but will become more debilitating. A gloomy outlook, indeed.
But the tree gave me another viewpoint. Perhaps this cycle of energy – no energy– is part of Life. Maybe the living being is designed this way. My tendency is to puck, push, push. Then I end up with some physical adaptation, which forces me to rest.
I want to be in harmony with life and its cycles. Perhaps Life is teaching me to not be so hard on myself, to pace myself in those times of low energy, rest more, say ‘no’ to some activities that I would ordinarily say ‘yes’ to, be more gentle with myself and, oh yes, the BIG one– be free to experience fully whatever state I’m in, knowing it will pass.
I had a few months of being dormant. But in the past few weeks I couldn’t feel better. The gratitude I feel is inexpressible.
If or when the next cycle is here and the bathroom seems four miles away, remind me to read this story!
Life is my Teacher when I have eyes to see.
BITS & PIECES FROM SCHOOL WORK:
(from What’s Going On Here by Dr. Bob Gibson vol. 2, no. 2)
- Without a purpose of some sort, conscious or unconscious, one will do absolutely nothing.
- The most valuable asset one can have is a consciously chosen purpose, and the sense of duty to actualize it.
- The way of success is “What can I contribute?” NOT “What can I get?”
- Which do you spend more time on –“How am I being treated by others” or “How am I treating others?”
- Total inner consideration is called psychotic behavior.
- NOW is the precious present that all too often is not valued.
- Everyone wants longer life and more abundant living. However, few make the most of every moment. If one is out of present time 50% of the time, that one’s life is CUT by 50%.
- NOW has no beginning and or ending, therefore is timeless. To be totally in the NOW is to experience the eternal.
- One talent is as valuable to the world as another. A so-called great talent not used is worthless. A so-called small talent used to its fullest is of GREAT worth.
- It can be of great interest to be aware of what the attention is focused on right now.
- The times are crying for integrated men and women. The is a need for integrated people to save it from disintegration. If you are, at least to a great degree, free of prejudice, hate, revenge, fears and whims, you can assist.
- If people listened to themselves more often they would talk less.
- Two monologues do not make a dialogue.
- The person of wisdom and understanding never blames.
Eve to Adam, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.